Possibly The Hardest Part About Publishing A Book Is...
Knowing when to release your book to the public
Every writer, dreams about this day. The moment your latest work is about to be unleashed. You've worked long and hard for it and the day has finally come. You've shed blood (preferably not someone esle's), sweat (and boy didn't you look hot at that moment), and more than a few tears (I'm not even going to try and make a joke on this one, I know damn well I've shed more than few in frustration, or because I wrote a section that moved me enough to shed them). So you're all set and ready for your book's release, but in the back of your mind you have to keep asking "Is my work truly ready to be released?"
In my case the answer was a resounding "NOT EVEN CLOSE!"
So, as a result of this fact, I've decided not to release my next work "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" until further notice.
How and why did this happen? The answer is simple. In spite of my best efforts I could not give my project the full attention and care it needs to be ready. For those who don't already know, I am currently attending university over in Monterey, California. I am currently studying Business Administration, with a focus on Marketing as my goal. However, there have been ever increasing and demands by my classes which makes giving any attention to my writing, almost impossible at this point and time. In fact, I'm only third of the way through the 2nd draft of the book.
Furthermore, I still have to have that draft edited and cleaned up before I can try to locate beta-readers to give me feedback. Originally, I had hoped to have the book already in their hands at this point, but it didn't happen. And I';m certainly not going to ask people to sign up at this point, not with the holidays coming hard and fast on us all. Most folks will have family gatherings to plan for, travel itineraries to arrange and a host of cooking and decorating jobs to do.
Furthermore, there's still one final thing I like to do before declaring a book ready to be released and that is to read it aloud with someone who is a good listener and can hear where there might be an issue with the writing. This takes a long time to do in my case, because I do it via Skype with my editor. Even though she's gone over the drafts I've sent and everything looks right, she and I like to read it out loud to each other to make sure everything it reads correctly if someone was doing an audio recording of the work.
An idea that sounded great in my head, or a turn of phrase that both of us thought was really cool, may not come across the same way as planned, which is why we do this. I know a lot of authors do loud readings of their works and believe me, this may take time but it is TOTALLY worth it.
Why am I so picky about this? Simple, I released my first novel "The Bridge" too quickly (and had to do subsequent re-releases after a number of errors were discovered). It was an amateur mistake to make, and even though I was forgiven for it (because, I WAS an amateur at the time) I felt I let myself and lot of others down. So I made it my policy to not release a book that has not been thoroughly vetted. I want people to get their monies worth and be able to enjoy a really nice finished product.
So when is a good time to release your work, some of you may be asking? Well, here's my answer. Three to six months after you've got it FULLY finished. Your cover's ready, it's been looked over for editing issues with a fine-tooth comb, you have a 'Proof-copy' which you've gone through with as keen an eye as possible, etc.
"Well if I have it all set to go, why wait a couple of months? Shouldn't I get it out right away?"
Well, that's up to you. But in my opinion ask yourself some questions. Is it the right time of year for your story? Does your tale take place around a holiday? If so which one? Are we getting close to tax season? If so, you might want to hold off until after everyone's finished stressing because they might need a good read to unwind after all that. They may not have the time to even give your book a passing glance, much less buy it.
Picking the right moment to release your work can sometimes make or break your sales of the book. So choose wisely.
I know we're all eager to get our work out there, but sometimes hitting that "Pause" button is necessary for the sake of success. There might be other issues you forgot to take into account such as, marketing. What is your marketing plan? Have you been getting the word out about your project? Do you have a budget for marketing? How do you plan to get the most exposure for the book? Have you been building up a sense of anticipation among prospective readers? If not, then hit that button. You're not ready.
I promise to discuss marketing in another entry in the near future. For now I want to close this entry out with the following.
My plans for having something published in December at this point is to possibly release a novelette that appeared on one of my other blogs called: "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition". It appeared in six installments, but has never been released as a whole book. It's a holiday piece that takes place fifteen years before the events in "The Bridge" and involves several characters from that novel, along with my vampyre Nathan. If I do release that novelette, I will make it available in ALL e-book formats: Kindle, Nook, Sony, Apple, etc. I might also do a printed version, but I'll want to see what kind of demand there is for it first.
After that, I'm hoping to release "The Door" mid-2016, and finally finish Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassie's current story arc. I'm not done with those characters by any means. I have plenty of stories in mind that will involve them, so don't worry. As for "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home", that will be released around Halloween 2016. By then it will be in fighting shape, and the time of year will be perfect for a a vampyre story.
I hope today's entry gave you all food for thought. Timing your release and making sure the product is as good as it can be is crucial to your book's success. Don't skimp or rush things. You put a lot of work into that story, so make sure it's in the best shape it can be so it can earn the recognition and praise it deserves. Until next time, I'll be planning and plotting my own course. So take care of yourselves and keep writing!
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